Thabo Mbeki's presidency was credited with bringing vision and substance to South Africa's foreign policy through the emphasis of the African agenda. He has continued his prominent diplomatic role since the end of his official terms in office. This article examines the post-presidency of Mbeki in the context of Africa's ‘second-wave’ of democracy, which has created the opportunity for a number of former presidents and prime ministers to continue to play a meaningful role in public life after leaving office. The article also examines Mbeki's activities since leaving office, and their interaction with South African foreign policy, and with his own role in the governing ANC since being recalled from the Presidency by the party. The conclusion draws together the findings and considers Mbeki's lasting contribution to Africa's international relations.